Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn says that he tried prayer and it did not work. He put a shoebox under his bed and prayed that it be filled with gold. He awoke in the morning, and the box remained empty. Definitive proof that prayer is of no use, he concluded.
Often people make resolutions for the new year, but studies show that most do not see them through. Just like Huck Finn we give up too quickly. Too many people approach prayer in just such a way. But prayer is not magic, is it? Prayer involves developing a relationship with God. For a relationship to develop we must invest in it and watch for changes over time. What change might unfold in your life if you resolved in this new year to deepen your prayer life?
Notice how the apostles start with the new believers. They pray with them. Recall that earlier in Acts Peter and John also head the list of those leading the Christ-followers as they were “constantly devoting themselves to prayer” (1:13-14). Prayer figures prominently throughout The Acts of the Apostles.
When I allow my priorities to shift and allow matters other than prayer to fill the top slot, then I am not devoting myself to prayer. Is prayer the first thing on your “to-do” list? What steps can you can take to deepen your prayer life now? A new year of God’s grace beckons; a fresh start awaits.

O God, draw us by your Holy Spirit to turn to you with new resolve. Amen.

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